Car seat heaters sound nice on a cold day, but they can come with risks. The heaters, used in cars to warm up backs and rear ends, have come under fire for causing burns. Many people have been injured from car seat heaters exceeding the recommended temperature limit of 105 degrees. These dangerous products sometimes even reach temperatures of 160 degrees. Experts say that even temperatures of 120 degrees can cause third-degree burns. If you were injured by a car seat heater, a Staten Island dangerous product attorney can give you legal advice.
Staten Island Dangerous Product Attorney Investigates the Complaints
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 138 complaints of malfunctioning car seat heaters over a six-year period from 2005-2011. The complaints ranged from a burning smell to visible smoke to flames. NHTSA began investigating the complaints after it received letters from concerned doctors raising awareness about the risks that car heaters posed. The car seat heaters are especially dangerous to those who have trouble feeling their legs, such as those with paralysis or diabetes. Doctors proposed that the temperature limit for car seat heaters be set to no more than 105 degrees, with the recommendation that those with paralysis not use them at all.
Mercedes and BMW had the highest number of complaints. Mercedes has 34 complaints, and BMW had 27.Of the Mercedes complaints, 28 include the GL-Class and M-Class series. The main factor believed to be causing the burns is the seating surface, with people getting into and out of the car frequently. This stress could cause the heating mat’s electrical wire to eventually break, causing a seemingly harmless car seat heater to turn into a dangerous product.
The Extent of Injuries from the Dangerous Product
The most common injury incurred by car seat heaters is burns. Studies show that it takes eight hours for a burn to occur at 109 degrees. The burns mostly occur in the buttocks region, which is a difficult area to have a burn because it takes a long time for the burn to heal, and during this time, it is almost impossible for someone to sit. Those who are paralyzed are more susceptible to burns because they cannot feel the intensity of the heat and may adjust the car seat heater to an extreme temperature. They may then suffer a burn without even feeling it.
Types of Damages You May Claim
The amount of damages you can claim will depend on the severity of your injuries and whether the product manufacturer was the one at fault. In addition, your amount of damages in limited by the state in which you live. For the most part, you should be able to claim economic and non-economic damages for injuries incurred.
Economic damages would include things of a monetary value such as compensation for medical bills and lost wages. You may also be able to claim non-economic damages such pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages to the manufacturer for creating a defective and dangerous product. A Staten Island dangerous product attorney can determine the types of damages that apply in your situation.
Contact a Staten Island Dangerous Product Attorney
If you believe you have a claim for a dangerous product, you should contact a Staten Island dangerous product attorney before filing a claim. If many people have been injured by the same product, your lawyer may suggest that you get in on a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer, which will strengthen your chances of receiving compensation.
If you suffered an injury from a dangerous product, consult with a Staten Island dangerous product attorney from Gacovino Lake & Associates for a free consultation. They are experienced at handling a wide range of al injury cases, including those involving dangerous products. Call them today at 1-800-246-4878 and have them review your case.